I have a very independent daughter.
Early in life, she wanted to do things by herself (“me do it!”). Helping her was not an option – as continues to be the case much of the time today.
Admittedly, that fierce independent streak likely comes from none other than her mother. I’m fairly sure my mother has stories about me insisting I could walk myself to kindergarten without her (I know what that’s like first-hand now!).
I do like to handle things myself. Accomplish things. Stretch myself to see what I can do and learn. Know that I can do it.
It was a solace during the challenging season in my life when I went through a divorce and was a single mother. I was able to put that independent streak to use to deal with the dramatic changes in my life – but not without tears and lots of struggles.
I’ve been proud of my independence.
But pride is a funny thing.
Where I have pride in myself, it might be a good indication that I should step back and reflect. As a Christian, is that pride placed in the right thing?
Instead of declaring a declaration of independence, I believe I would be better off declaring a declaration of dependence.
As I have been reading the Bible this week and looking more closely at prayer, a book I’ve been reading made me stop and think: the Bible is God’s love letter to us, pointing us to make a declaration of dependence on Him – and Him only.
Being dependent on someone doesn’t sound very good to most of our ears. We’re told to strive to learn and do things ourselves. Don’t depend on other people. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You can do it yourself.
And while independence can be admirable, the Biblical example that I see is that of even the strongest, more powerful individuals bending the knee to an amazing God.
Doesn’t that just turn our human sensibilities on their head?
Instead of relying on myself….I need to depend on God for my future.
Instead of thinking I can do it all….I need to rest on God’s care and provision.
Instead of taking pride in my own abilities…I need to thank God for the gifts, talents and abilities He has given me.
Instead of looking within…..I need to look to my Lord and Savior.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says it so well: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
There is something freeing about dependence. If you’re a parent, think of the freedom, joy and lack of cares your children have. That springs from the love they have for you as a parent, but also from the inherent knowledge that you will take care of them, protect them and watch over them.
How much more can we feel secure, free and loved if only we’d declare our dependence in our awesome God.
So difficult for my self-centered heart.
My prayer today is that I can take my pride in my own independence and flip it upside down. And in that effort, I would lean into God’s love, power and strength to depend on Him.
Will you join me in declaring your dependence?
Trust in Him,